It’s not often you come across an 11-year-old who is a seasoned world traveler. Yet that’s exactly what Chloe White is-oh, and she chronicles each trip with the stunning photos she posts on Instagram as The Vacay Kid.
This year alone, Chloe and her mother, Courtney, have visited Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Santorini, Ios, Mykonos, Zakynthos, and Athens in Greece; as well as the Maldives. That’s quite a year’s worth of travel-perhaps part of it was to make up for the downtime during COVID, when international travel was highly restricted, if not prohibited.
You might be asking, “How can an 11-year-old go to school if she’s always traveling?” The answer is quite simple, really…Chloe homeschools with Bridgeway Academy! As homeschoolers with Bridgeway, Chloe and Courtney enjoy the flexibility that homeschooling affords-they can travel wherever they like, whenever they like and Chloe can still learn by bringing her education with her!
“I enjoy homeschooling because it allows me to travel, do my work, and learn at the same time,” says Chloe. “My homeschooling experience with Bridgeway has been amazing. It gives me the flexibility to do things at my own pace and do my schoolwork while traveling.”
A Traveling Classroom
A typical school day for most children involves waking up early, catching the bus, sitting in class for hours at a time, taking the bus home, studying and doing homework, and going to bed. And then repeating. Day after day after day.
“I can wake up and have breakfast on a balcony in Dubai and do my work at the same time,” she says. “Then I would go out for the day’s adventures, and then have more time set aside to do schoolwork.”
I, for one, wouldn’t mind waking up and typing away on a balcony in Dubai. That’s one of the amazing advantages to homeschooling-you can study anywhere in the world and never miss a beat. And that was an important consideration for Courtney when deciding where to enroll Chloe. Because, by that point, traveling had become a significant part of their lives.
Chloe says she caught the travel bug about four years ago, after she and Courtney vacationed in Bali, Indonesia. Courtney agrees but says she knew Chloe became hooked on travel when she asked Chloe what she wanted for Christmas a few years ago-to celebrate traditionally with a tree and gifts, or with a trip? “She chose the trip,” remembers Courtney. “Since then, we have traveled internationally for Christmas holidays.”
Courtney, like many homeschooling parents, firmly believes that education should not be confined within classroom walls. It’s the experience of traveling that provides the real learning and life lessons. “My main goal is to always make her travels a learning experience,” explains Courtney. “For example, we could read anything online about Greek history, but it was amazing to walk through Acropolis and experience that history hands-on. Every destination teaches something different.”
“The biggest learning experience for me,” Chloe says, “is how culturally different each country is.”
Why Homeschooling Is Right for Chloe
Being a traveling homeschooler isn’t all play, no work. It requires a great deal of self-discipline and initiative for a student to truly succeed with homeschooling when there might be so many wonderful distractions and adventures constantly enticing you to step away from the computer or textbook. That’s why Courtney is always instilling a sense of independence and responsibility in Courtney, even when they’re basking in the sunshine of an island beach or roaming the streets of Paris (which happens to be Chloe’s favorite trip so far…”It was so dreamy and beautiful and full of art.”).
“When we travel, she still has to be responsible for doing her work,” Courtney says.
To her credit, Chloe understands that self-motivation is a key ingredient in homeschooling. “You have to be a good self-learner,” Chloe explains. “And you have to not mind it just being you and your teacher.”
Chloe was reasonably prepared for homeschooling, even when she was attending a brick-and-mortar school. Courtney related that Chloe’s experience within Montessori schools, which employ a very independent learning environment, made the transition to homeschooling-and especially homeschooling while traveling-much more seamless.
Of course, not all homeschool programs are alike, and it takes the right one to enable the type of lifestyle that Chloe and Courtney are thoroughly enjoying right now.
How Bridgeway Was the Perfect Fit
Chloe mentioned the flexibility that a homeschool education with Bridgeway allows-but most homeschool academies and programs offer at least a reasonable amount of latitude when it comes to classes, schoolwork, and scheduling. So, what was it about Bridgeway Academy that led Chloe and Courtney to choose them as their homeschool partner?
Chloe mentioned that the programs cater to her learning style, and that all of the online tools are easy to use. Courtney was first impressed with the reviews she read about Bridgeway as she was searching for the right homeschool program. Even more than that, however, “I chose Bridgeway because I liked that for a first-time homeschooler, they provide so much guidance,” explains Courtney.
And Courtney agrees with her daughter on their Bridgeway experience thus far. “It’s been great. She seems to really be learning from the curriculum, which is easy to explain and understand.”
This year, Chloe just began her second year homeschooling with Bridgeway-and while Courtney is undecided about Chloe’s long-term education roadmap, Chloe certainly has no plans to pause her travels. In fact, there’s one place in particular she’s ready to see: “Australia, because I can’t wait to spot a kangaroo.” Perhaps a trip Down Under is in the cards at some point down the road.
Regardless of whether you’re a traveling family, Courtney advises prospective homeschoolers to “make sure there is a good purpose behind [homeschooling], because it requires the same effort and dedication from the parent.” And it’s that effort, from both Chloe and Courtney, that have allowed Chloe to thrive while she embarks upon adventures most people-kids or adults-can only dream of experiencing.
Check out Chloe’s travels by following her @thevacaykid on Instagram. And to learn more about how Bridgeway Academy can offer the homeschooling flexibility you’re seeking, call us at 1-800-863-1474 to speak with a homeschool expert.